All The Reasons Why You Should Want to Use Cloudflare

It should come as no surprise we’re big fans of Cloudflare here at Scanfully. Cloudflare has emerged as an essential service for website owners worldwide. It offers a suite of tools designed to enhance security, improve performance, and ensure reliability for websites of all sizes.

They offer their services in a couple of different versions (free, pro, business, and enterprise).

Generally, any service offering a free plan will hand you a very limited free plan. But, in this article we’d like to argue why you’d want to use even the free plan for every single one of your sites. We’ve already highlighted Cloudflare in quite a few articles here on the blog, but let’s list out the benefits in this one article, shall we?

1. DDoS Protection

Preventing Disruptions: Cyber threats, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, pose serious risks to online businesses. Cloudflare’s free plan includes DDoS protection, which helps safeguard your site against traffic floods designed to take your site offline. Learn more about what DDoS attacks are here.

How It Works: Cloudflare’s expansive network can absorb and distribute the enormous traffic loads associated with DDoS attacks. This functionality ensures your site remains online and accessible, even during an ongoing attack.

2. Free SSL/TLS Encryption

Securing Data: In today’s digital age, data security is paramount. Cloudflare’s free plan offers SSL/TLS encryption, which is critical for protecting sensitive information transmitted between your website and its visitors.

Building Trust: Not only does encryption secure data, but it also builds trust with your audience. Visitors are more likely to engage with your site when they see the padlock icon in their browser, indicating a secure connection.

3. Free CDN

Speeding Up Content Delivery: Cloudflare operates a global Content Delivery Network (CDN), which caches your website’s content on servers around the world. This means that no matter where your users are, they receive data from the nearest server, reducing load times significantly.

Bandwidth Savings: By caching content, Cloudflare’s CDN reduces the amount of data your origin server has to deliver, saving bandwidth and potentially reducing hosting costs.

4. Protection Against Bot Abuse

Blocking Malicious Bots: The internet is full of bots that can scrape content, spam forms, or attempt to brute force login credentials. Cloudflare’s free plan includes bot management features that help identify and block malicious bot traffic.

Maintaining Performance: By filtering out bad bots, Cloudflare ensures that your server resources are used efficiently, maintaining optimal performance for legitimate users.

5. Free Analytics Insights

Understanding Traffic: Knowledge is power, and Cloudflare’s analytics provide valuable insights into your website’s traffic. This includes data on threats, traffic patterns, and performance metrics.

Making Informed Decisions: With these insights, you can make data-driven decisions to optimize your site’s performance and security.

6. Fast & Easy DNS Management

Streamlining DNS Setup: Cloudflare simplifies the process of managing your Domain Name System (DNS) records. With an intuitive interface and easy-to-follow guidance, you can configure your DNS settings with ease.

Reducing Downtime: Cloudflare’s DNS services are resilient and fast, reducing the likelihood of website downtime due to DNS issues.

7. Automatic IPv6 Compatibility

Embracing the Future: As the internet transitions from IPv4 to IPv6, compatibility with the latter becomes increasingly important. Cloudflare’s free plan ensures that your site is accessible via both IPv4 and IPv6 without any additional configuration.

Ensuring Accessibility: This feature allows users on IPv6 networks to reach your site without any barriers, future-proofing your online presence.

8. Web Application Firewall (WAF)

Defending Against Threats: Although Cloudflare’s free plan includes a basic level of WAF protection, it is a crucial first line of defense against common vulnerabilities like SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS).

Protecting Your Site: Even at the free level, having some WAF capabilities helps to protect your website from various web-based threats, contributing to a more secure online environment.

9. Free “I’m Under Attack” Mode

Immediate Response: When your site is experiencing a severe security event, Cloudflare’s “I’m Under Attack” mode can be activated. This feature adds an additional layer of protection by presenting a challenge page to potential threats, filtering out malicious traffic.

Keeping Your Site Live: This mode helps to ensure that your site remains operational even under the most extreme circumstances, providing peace of mind.

10. HTML, CSS & JS Compression

Optimizing Load Times: Websites often suffer from slow load times due to large file sizes of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. Cloudflare’s free plan offers automatic compression of these resources, which can significantly reduce their size.

Enhancing User Experience: By compressing these files, Cloudflare ensures that your website’s content is delivered faster to the user’s browser. This speed increase not only improves the user experience but also contributes positively to search engine ranking.

11. Speed Optimization Deluxe

Conserving Bandwidth: Another benefit of compression is the reduction in bandwidth usage. Smaller file sizes mean less data transfer, which can result in cost savings, especially if your hosting provider charges based on bandwidth usage.

Automated Process: The best part about Cloudflare’s compression feature is that it’s automatic. There’s no need for manual intervention or complex configuration. Cloudflare detects the files that can be compressed and handles the process seamlessly, ensuring that your website is always performing at its best.

12. Email Routing

So this last one may seem like an odd one, but Cloudflare also offers email routing out of the box. Meaning, if you were to add a domain to Cloudflare that doesn’t need a full-fledged email account, you can easily set it up to have be forwarded to, for example.

In short:

Cloudflare’s free plan addresses a wide array of common problems faced by website owners. From enhancing security with DDoS protection and SSL/TLS encryption to improving site performance through its CDN, the free plan offers a robust set of features that are easy to implement.

Additionally, the plan combats bot abuse, provides free analytics, simplifies DNS management, ensures IPv6 compatibility, and offers basic WAF protection. Go and check them out.

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